Leah Nanako Winkler is a Japanese American playwright from Kamakura, Japan and Lexington Kentucky. Her play KENTUCKY was among the top 10 on the 2015 Kilroys List and recently received an Off-Broadway Premiere at Ensemble Studio Theatre in coproduction with Page 73 and the Radio Drama Network. It subsequently received a West Coast Premiere at East West Players in November-December 2016. Leah is also the author of Two Mile Hollow (2017 Kilroys List, Upcoming Simultaneous World Premiere at Artists At Play in La, Mixed Blood/Theater Mu in Minneapolis, First Floor Theater in Chicago and Ferocious Lotus in SF), Death For Sydney Black (terraNova Collective, Thinking Cap Theater, 2014 Kilroys Honorable Mention) Diversity Awareness Picnic (2014 Kilroys Honorable Mention) , Double Suicide At Ueno Park (EST/Marathon 2015), Linus and Murray (EST/Marathon 2017) and The Adventures of Minami: The Robot From Japan Who Makes You Feel Safe When Loneliness Is Palpable (A Dramatist Guild Production at The Brick). With playwright Teddy Nicholas, she cowrote Flying Snakes in 3-D!!! which enjoyed performances in 2011-2012 at Ars Nova (ANT Fest), The Brick Theater and the New Ohio Theatre (Ice Factory ). Leah’s work has been developed at Playwrights Horizons, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, New York Theatre Workshop, The Bushwick Starr, The Flea Theatre, Primary Stages, Artists at Play and more. Her experimental stuff has been performed all throughout the city at places like little theatre @ Dixon Place, Prelude Festival, Bowery Poetry Club and more.
Her collections of short plays, NAGORIYUKI & Other Short Plays and The Lowest Form Of Writing are available on Amazon and have been performed all over the US, France and Asia. Her plays have also been published in Nanjing University’s Stage and Screen Reviews , Smith and Krauss, Sam French and Dramatists Play Service. She was an artist in residence at New Group/Urban Arts Initiative , a winner of the 2015 Samuel French OOB Short Play Festival, a 2015 and 2016 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize nominee, a recipient of the Truman Capote Fellowship for Creative Writing, and a 2016-2018 Time Warner Fellow at the Womens Project Theater. Leah is also a member of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Playwrights Group at Primary Stages, Ma Yi, Ensemble Studio Theatre an alumnus of Youngblood. She was a 2017 Sundance/Ucross fellow. Commissions include Mu Theater/Jerome, 2G, Atlantic Theater Company (Asian Mixfest), Keen Teens, The Japanese American National Museum (A/P/A commission), and Sloan. MFA candidate: Brooklyn College. The New York Times called her a “distinctive new voice.”
Follow her @leahnanako.